Agronomists from Bahrain and Kuwait attending the Sahara Exhibition in Cairo 26th-29th July 2009 have confirmed the sighting of damage in greenhouses in both countries which is consistent with that caused by Tuta absoluta.
Both countries have small agricultural sectors and are net importers of vegetables from other countries including Spain and Morocco.
These sightings if confirmed represent a serious advance of Tuta absoluta through the Middle East due to the strong trading relationships of both countries with neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran.
Most countries in the region were alerted to this advance through information sheets in Arabic that have been circulating since last week to increase the awareness in the new pest, to help in early detection and isolation and subsequent control.
Pheromone traps from Russell IPM have been sent to the area and are playing an increasing role in the early detection of Tuta absoluta.
Cairo 27th July 2009